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COVID-19: Saskatchewan expands AstraZeneca age eligibility to 40, extends public health orders

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Saskatchewan to lower AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility age to 40 years and older' COVID-19: Saskatchewan to lower AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility age to 40 years and older
WATCH: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced Tuesday the province will lower the AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility age across the province to 40 years or older based on the recommendation of the province’s chief medical health officer and following the same guidance of other provinces – Apr 20, 2021

Saskatchewan has expanded its AstraZeneca eligibility to those 40 years of age and older, in an announcement made by the province on Tuesday.

The province said it’s delivered the AstraZeneca vaccine to every resident aged 55 and over who wanted to receive it.

Read more: Saskatchewan mulls lowering AstraZeneca eligibility to 40 from 55

It said there are nearly 15,000 doses of AstraZeneca currently in the province with less than 9,000 available to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, who are administering the vaccine.

The remaining doses have been allocated for administration.

Saskatchewan opened AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility to all residents aged 40 and older as of Tuesday evening. Saskatchewan will prioritize access through a mass-vaccination setting to first responders and front-line workers aged 16 and older.

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Read more: Canadians support public health measures: survey

The province also announced it is expecting Pfizer shipments to arrive in Regina and Saskatoon on Tuesday.

Shipments to North Battleford, Prince Albert and Yorkton are expected Wednesday.

The new shipments mean allocations for the month of May have increased to 63,180 doses and 74,880 for June.

So far, the province said it’s administered 357,447 doses of the vaccine and that 51 per cent of Saskatchewan residents aged 40 and older have received their first dose.

Saskatchewan’s public health measures extended

Public health orders in Saskatchewan have been extended through May 10, outlined in the provincial COVID-19 daily update Tuesday.

Under current health orders, household bubbles are limited to immediate households only throughout all of Saskatchewan. Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Physical distancing of at least two metres must be maintained between households

The province also announced additional restrictions for Regina. All restaurants and licensed establishments have to remain closed for in-person dining. Take-out and delivery are still allowed.

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Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan extends restrictions to May 10 due to high COVID-19 hospitalizations' Saskatchewan extends restrictions to May 10 due to high COVID-19 hospitalizations
Saskatchewan extends restrictions to May 10 due to high COVID-19 hospitalizations – Apr 20, 2021

Travel is also strongly discouraged in or out of the Regina area and those who can work from home are asked to do so by the province.

Further details surrounding public health measures can be found here.

The province also announced changes to outdoor individual non-contact sports for activities such as tennis, pickle ball and disk golf.

It encourages participants to avoid taking part in outdoor sports if they are displaying any symptoms related to COVID-19. Masks and sanitizer on hand are also strongly recommended.

A full list of guidelines can be found here.

Saskatchewan reports 249 new COVID-19 cases and no deaths

The province announced 249 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total cases to 38,65, 2,640 of which are considered active.  Six cases are pending residence information.

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Tuesday’s cases are located as such: Far North West (2), Far North East (2), North West (19), North Central (17), North East (1), Saskatoon (55), Central West (6), Central East (13), Regina (102), South West (7), South Central (7) and South East (16) zones.  Two (2) new cases have pending residence information.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan’s top doctor renews call for vigilance amid recent cluster outbreaks' Saskatchewan’s top doctor renews call for vigilance amid recent cluster outbreaks
Saskatchewan’s top doctor renews call for vigilance amid recent cluster outbreaks – Apr 20, 2021

As of April, the province is reporting 5,027 variants of concern with the majority cases being in Regina, 2,990.

The province said 195 people are in hospital with 144 receiving inpatient care while 51 people are in intensive care, 35 of which are in Regina.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is 247.

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